Church Street

Church Street was known as St. Marygate in the middle ages.  Today St. Marygate refers only to the lane on the western side of China Street, leading to the Priory.  Church Street was used as open market on Lancaster fair days (3 April, 1 May, 5 July and 10 October).  The potato market moved to Assembly Room Square in 1802. There are several Georgian buildings at the west end of Church Street.

The west end of Church Street from St. Marygate. Church Street

Church Street

Looking west along Church Street towards the Judges Lodgings and the Castle.  The National Westminster bank on the right was formerly the Lancaster Banking Company.

The Roman Civilian Settlement

Roman Church Street had long, rectangular buildings with their gable ends facing on to the street with possibly a shop on the street frontage. You can read more about some of the archaeological investigations on Church Street in a Contrebis article by Ian Miller.

Cross Church Street and turn left.

The Conservative Club

The front of no. 76 Church Street dates from the 1730s but the rest of the building may date from 1637.  It was owned by the Marton family in the 18th century and Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here in October 1745 on his way south and again in December 1745 on his way back north.  It became home of the Conservative Club in 1883 until 2000 when the building was sold for 250,000 to a local businessman. 

Conservative Club

Link extinguisher

Behind the railings, attached to the wall of the Conservative Club, is a rare Link extinguisher.  Before the days of street lighting torches, or Links, were held in front of carriages returning late at night.

Cross China Street at the pedestrian crossing

LAHS Home PageJudges Lodgings

The Judges Lodgings is the oldest surviving home in Lancaster. It was built between 1610 and 1639. The roof contains timbers from an even earlier, medieval building. After the Assizes moved to Preston in 1975 it became a museum, housing a collection of Gillow furniture and a museum of childhood. The east gate of the Roman fort was situated approximately in the gap between the Judges Lodging and the buildings of St. Marygate on the right of this photograph.

Covell Cross

Covell Cross

The cross in front of the Judges Lodgings marks the site of an ancient cross.  It is named after Thomas Covell, a former owner of Judges Lodgings and Keeper of the Castle.  He, along with the Mayor of Lancaster and another Justice of the Peace, questioned the Pendle Witches during their imprisonment and trial in the Castle in 1612.  Covell died in 1639 and was buried in the Priory.  A plaque commemorating Covell can be seen in the Bell Tower of the Priory.

The cross is shown on Speed's map of 1610.  The building on the site of the Judges Lodgings (no. 6) is referred to as Old Hall.

1610 map

Turn left in front of the Judges Lodgings and proceed up Castle Hill.

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